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Past Speakers

2020 - 2021 Season

MyBarackObama: How Social Media Ate Our Elections and What We Can Do About It
Claire Bond Potter, Author and Professor of History, New School for Social Research

The State of the LGBTQ Movement
Rea Carey, Executive Director, National LGBTQ Task Force

The 2020 Elections: What Happened? What's Next?
Jason Zengerle '96, Writer at Large, The New York Times Magazine

Spit Spreads Death: The Influenza Pandemic of 1918-19 in Philadelphia
Robert Hicks,  Senior Consulting Scholar, College of Physicians of Philadelphia

The Policy, Politics, and Prevention of the Overdose Crisis: Rethinking Responses to the Epidemic
Lindsey Richardson, Medical Sociologist and Associate Professor of Sociology, University of British Columbia

Accountability for War Crimes: Reflections on the Past, Present, and Future
Sofia Candeias,  U.N. Team of Experts on Sexual Violence in Conflict

The Role of Ambivalence in the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election
Catherine Norris,  Associate Professor o Psychology, Swarthmore College
John Blanchar, Associate Professor of Psychology, Swarthmore College

The Illusion of Separation: Finding Hope in a Time of Climate Crisis
Eileen Flanagan, Quaker Author, Speaker, and Activist

2018 - 2019 Season

Notes from the Field: A Career in Reporting
Dave Davies, Senior Reporter, Contributor, and Fill-in Host for Fresh Air, WHYY FM

Finding Faith and Making the Self in America
Rebecca Davis, Associate Professor of History, University of Delaware

Peace with North Korea?
John Feffer, Director of Foreign Policy In Focus, Institute for Policy Studies (D.C.)

A Professor and His Students Reflect on the Israel/Palestine Conflict
Sa’ed Atshan, Assistant Professor, Peace and Conflict Studies, Swarthmore College

The Frontier Where Science Meets Society
Rush Holt, CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Public Policy Lessons for Academia from the U.S. Department of State
Elizabeth Nichols, Assistant Professor, Biology, Swarthmore College

Behavioral Economics: Making Us Better People, Professionals, and Policymakers
Syon Bhanot, Assistant Professor of Economics, Swarthmore College

America Needs an Enemy
Dominic Tierney, Associate Professor of Political Science, Swarthmore College

2017–2018 Season

Responsible Nationalism?  Why Economists Are Rethinking the Merits of Free Trade
Erin Bronchetti, Associate Professor, Economics, Swarthmore College

What Makes Democracy Work?
Ben Berger, Associate Professor of Political Science and Executive Director of the Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility

Walls or Bridges? The American Immigration System at a Crossroads 
Thomas Alexander Aleinikoff, Director of the Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility

Zombies in the Language of American Dystopia
Jamie Thomas, Assistant Professor of Linguistics, Swarthmore College

Designing for Social Justice
Jules Dingle AIA, Principal at Philadelphia Architecture Firm DIGSAU
Bon Ku MD, MPP, Assistant Dean for Health and Design at Thomas Jefferson University and Emergency Medicine Physician

Whose Democracy? Inequalities in Political Participation
Daniel Laurison, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Swarthmore College

Communicating Science to the Public
Paul Offit, Director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Why Fighting Online Abuse Is Good for Free Speech
Danielle Citron, Morton & Sophia Macht Professor of Law, University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law

2016–2017 Season

Academic Freedom: The Whole World is Watching (for five seconds)
Tim Burke, Professor of History, Swarthmore College

Dealing with Difference: Lessons from the Liberal Arts
Valerie Smith, President, Swarthmore College

What’s Different about the 2016 Election?
Carol Nackenoff, Richter Professor of Political Science, Swarthmore College

The Curse of Bigness: What Louis Brandeis Means Today
Jeffrey Rosen, President and CEO, National Constitution Center

Failing States and the Delusions of U.S. Policies
William Reno, Professor of Political Science & Director, Program of African Studies, Northwestern University

Sustainability: How to be a Catalyst for Change
Aurora Winslade, Director of Sustainability, Swarthmore College

Capturing Moments That Last a Lifetime
David Swanson, Photojournalist, The Philadelphia Inquirer

Fusion Energy: How to Make a Star on Earth
Michael Brown, Professor of Physics and Chair, Physics & Astronomy, Swarthmore College

2015–2016 Season

Who Should Claim Credit for the Economy in 2016?
Rick Valelly, Claude C. Smith ’14 Professor of Political Science, Swarthmore College

Taxes, Spending, and the Fine Art of the Deal (maybe)
John L. Micek, Opinion Editor of PennLive, Patriot-News of Harrisburg

How Does the U.S. Immigration Crisis Affect Pennsylvania?
Aurora Camacho de Schmidt, Professor Emerita of Spanish, Swarthmore College

Telling the Story of Mayor Nutter’s Philadelphia
Desiree Peterkin-Bell, Director of Communications and Strategy and City Representative, Philadelphia

Knife Fights: Modern War in Theory and Practice
John Nagl, Headmaster, The Haverford School

Ending Extreme Poverty
Stephen O’Connell, Gil and Frank Mustin Professor of Economics, Swarthmore College

The Reality of Civil War Medicine
Robert D. Hicks, Director, Mütter Museum, The College of Physicians of Philadelphia

Why We Work
Barry Schwartz, Dorwin P. Cartwright Professor of Social Theory and Social Action, Swarthmore College